Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wanted by Sheriff: Naked Man 1886

Vincennes Daily Commercial Aug 13, 1886

Jumped Off The Bridge Into The Middle Of The Wabash River.

The Daring Leap Made By A Fugitive To Escape The Officers.

Last night about 8:30 o’clock, during this prevalence of the severe storm, John Sharp, a young man of North Vincennes, who had been captured by Officer Hall and Marshal Calloway was turned over the Deputy Sheriff of Lawrence county, Ill and his deputy at the drawbridge.

The young man aforesaid is wanted at Lawrenceville on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill.  He strongly objected to crossing the bridge but the officers, for the nonce, only, were too many for him and succeeded in taking him as far as the draw span.  It was pitch dark; the wind was blowing fiercely and forked streaks of lightning flashed through the dark, ominous clouds, that hung low and from which the rain poured down in torrents.  With a sudden  jerk, the prisoner released himself from the clutches of the officer having him in charge and quicker than it takes to write it, plunged headlong over the railing into the water below, disappearing entirely.

But he did not long remain out of sight.  Emerging from his novel and thrilling bath, he swam to one of the middle piers, disrobed himself, and before the officers could get to him, was swimming with the current rapidly down the stream.

No doubt the reader will conclude that this was a sharp trick.  But it appears not, as Marshal Calloway subsequently secured the clothes the fugitive left behind on the pier and has them still in his possession, while Mr. Sharp has only the garb Dame Nature gave him.

The name of the man Sharp assaulted is Sanders, and lives on the Illinois side a short distance from the bridge.  Both men recently came here from Mt Carmel.